Brant's Rant: Re-signing A-Ram-Ram

November 13, 2006 | Comments (0) | by T.R.

Common sense prevailed as the free agent season swept into motion in the wee hours of Sunday morning. Though it never should have come to this, the Cubs were able to re-sign Aramis Ramirez at somewhat of a hometown discount. The 5-year $73 million deal locks Ramirez up during the prime of his career, and helps avert the gaping chasm of third base for what could be 8+ years when it's all said and done. I'm not the biggest fan of A-Ram-Ram, and none of us will ever forget his disappearance when the Cubs needed him most early in 2006. However, when he doesn't have to be the primary contributor, we all know he can flourish.

It was a busy day for Jim Hendry as he was also able to lock up Kerry Wood to a one year incentive-laden deal. I'm not opposed to this move since it seems to be a sure bet that he'll be used exclusively out of the bullpen. Obviously the wear and tear on his shoulder will no longer allow him to throw 100 pitches at a time, but will the up and down, start and stop activity in the bullpen be any kinder to that shoulder? We'll find out. If anything, he could be a great stopper in the 8th inning, and perhaps take the reigns from the feeble Ryan Dempster as the next great white Cubs closer.

With these two signings, Cub fans should be able to breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that we don't have to put the 2007 season in the hands of Jim Hendry's botched free agent moves. At least Sheffield is no longer available. If anything, Ramirez walking away from the potential cash that the Angels and Dodgers would have surely thrown at him and believing in the new Cubs regime is exactly what was needed. Hopefully a few free agents will now approach Hendry at the winter meetings in hopes of hitching up to the Cubs wagon. We at ThunderMatt fully endorse the potential acquisition of Gary Matthews, Jr. to fill our hole at leadoff. Juan Pierre had a fantastic second half of the season, and we appreciate his hard work and dedication. But realistically, we need someone that can hit more than one home run per year. We thought we had our leadoff situation figured out by trading for Pierre, but we need to move in a different direction.

I would like to now invite argument...